The London-based bank Standard Chartered has issued a commemorative banknote for Hong Kong with the unusual denomination of $150.
Standard Chartered today opens the floodgates for the great Hong Kong banknote stampede, offering a million banknotes that no one will ever spend, but everyone wants to own.
The first ever HK$150 banknotes, printed by Standard Chartered Bank (Hong Kong) to celebrate its 150-year presence in the city, are likely to spark a frenzy from collectors and speculators.
The commemorative banknotes will be legal tender here, but no one in his right mind would try to buy anything with them. One coin dealer predicts that anyone who gets his hands on a set of 35 uncut HK$150 notes will be able to rake in HK$100,000 for them - and their value will continue to soar.
"By design, we want the banknote to be unique and the only one of its kind. We want it to represent the spirit of the city," the bank's Hong Kong chief executive Benjamin Hung Pi-cheng said yesterday.
Standard Chartered has also selected 100 notes with special lucky serial numbers for public bidding and another 10,000 pieces for which the public can pick a serial number of their choice.
There are three categories of lucky number notes, with minimum bid prices of HK$10,000, HK$6,000 and HK$3,000. The "single self-selected serial number" notes will be offered at HK$888 each by lottery.
The front of the banknote, designed by Austrian graphic designer Henry Steiner, who has designed banknotes for Standard Chartered since 1975, features a satellite image of Victoria Harbour with the lender's corporate blue and green as the main color tones.
The back features eight Hong Kong people from different generations looking at the city's evolution.
So when will the international craze for commemorative banknotes hit the U.S.? With the great success of the circulating commemorative coin series, are commemorative Federal Reserve Notes far behind?
To read the complete article, see:
New $150 notes are real bang for the buck
Wayne Homren, Editor
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